March, 28 2014 08:29:02

Viet Nam looking to tap Spain partnership potential: President

President Truong Tan Sang (right) receives Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam treasures its ties with Spain and wishes to boost bilateral co-operation in all fields, President Truong Tan Sang informed Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

During his meeting with the diplomat in Ha Noi yesterday, he lauded Spain's approval to a free trade agreement with Viet Nam, adding that Viet Nam hoped that Spain will work in close coordination during the negotiations for a similar deal with the European Union.

As an active and responsible member of ASEAN, Viet Nam was willing to act as a bridge for Spain to strengthen relations with other members of the group, Sang noted.

Emphasising that the bilateral cooperation outcomes have yet to match the potential of both sides, he also suggested that Viet Nam and Spain should deploy specific action programmes to further intensify their partnership in the future, especially in trade and investment.

Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo noted that top Spanish firms travelling with him were seeking investment opportunities in Viet Nam.

Sharing Sang's opinion that there was room for both sides to foster all-round cooperation, he was of the viewpoint that in the future, more businesses from Spain will enjoy effective investment in Viet Nam.

He affirmed that his country supported Viet Nam's intentions to strengthen relations with the EU.

The official stressed that the two countries should enhance political dialogues by increasing high-level meetings, while continuing their close affiliation in regional and international forums, especially in the framework of the United Nations, ASEAN-EU relations, and the Asia-Europe Meeting.

On the same day, the Spanish diplomat and the President of the Viet Nam Women's Union (VWU) Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa attended a ceremony to mark 15 years of the Viet Nam-Spain partnership for development.

Hoa remarked that Viet Nam, in support of Spain's Agency for International Development Co-operation and non-governmental organisations, had implemented several poverty reduction projects and built healthcare service models for the local victims of human trafficking and those at a high risk of the illegal trade.

The projects have helped improve the standard of living of the locals, especially women and children, as well as raised the position of women in various fields, claimed Hoa.

The visiting Spanish minister laid emphasis on cooperation and development as an efficient and crucial means of promoting strategic partnership between the two sides, adding that his country would continue to support Viet Nam in the coming years, focusing on refining relevant institutional and legal frameworks to ensure gender equality.

Since its deployment in 2007, the safe house project has helped 260 human trafficking victims back home and offered counselling to over 3,000 others. It has also provided those victims with medical check-up, psychological therapy, legal support, and vocational training to enable their successful reintegration into social life. — VNS

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